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Shooting Industry January 2013 - Page 10

Industrynews By Russ Thurman Firmer Grip On Grip Sales — pg. 30 Industry Poised For Incredible Business Year T he business outlook for the firearms industry for 2013 may be the “most interesting” of any new year in decades. Propelled by record-crushing sales, the industry is poised to increase its market reach to levels unimaginable a few years ago. In firearm sales, the industry entered December 2012 and the peak of the holiday buying season far ahead of any year in modern history. At the end of November and 11 months of business, many companies likely had already exceeded their sales for all of 2011. During 2012, the number of NICS background checks from January through November exceeded the record-setting number for all of 2011 by 7 percent. In November, NICS conducted 1,525,177 (NSSF-adjusted) background checks, a 38.5 percent increase over November 2011. It was the 30th straight month of increases, as compared to the corresponding months in previous years. November also marked the highest monthly figure in the history of NICS; it exceeded the previous high month of December 2011 by 8.1 percent. These records were driven by massive sales following the national election, and those on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In early November, the reelection of President Obama ignited a firestorm of sales, with firearms dealers reporting high doubledigit to low triple-digit growth in business that far surpassed the record sales following the 2008 elections. On Black Friday, Nov. 23, NICS set a single-day record with 154,873 background checks, nearly a 20-percent increase over the previous high day: Black Friday 2011. Black Friday is an important day for business as it begins the holiday buying season, The industry is poised to increase its market reach to levels unimaginable a few years ago. when companies hope to move out of the red and into the black in profits. For many in the industry, Black Friday was very good for business. Three days later, Cyber Monday brought more sales, and new records. GunBroker.com reported a 22.7-percent increase in 2012 Cyber Monday sales activity over 2011. Not only are the increases in business good for companies and dealers, but they also are rewarding those who have invested in publicly traded companies. “In the first nine months of 2012, the company returned $17.5 million to its shareholders through the payment of dividends. An additional $7.3 million in dividends will be paid to shareholders on Nov. 26, 2012,” said Mike Fifer, Ruger CEO, in late October. These dividends were in addition to a special dividend Ruger paid in December. (See story below.) The golden opportunities for business in 2013 are contrasted by anti-industry, anti-gun rhetoric that has increased since the November election. It will likely grow to mind-numbing volume, with the potential for business-hampering obstacles. Yes, 2013 will be a most interesting year for business. Ruger Declares Special Dividend S&W Posts Strong Second Quarter turm, Ruger & Co. announced in mid-November that its board of directors voted to declare a special dividend of $4.50 per share on the company’s issued and outstanding shares of common stock. The cash dividend was paid on Dec. 21 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 7. Mike Fifer, Ruger CEO, said the special dividend was based on the company’s ability to fund its high-rate growth and its quarterly dividend, while growing cash reserves at a modest rate. “This special dividend reflects our confidence in the future to be able to pursue good opportunities that come our way. We remain committed to our new product development strategy, and will continue to seek accretive acquisition opportunities and prudently expand our manufacturing capacity,” Fifer said. Visit www.ruger.com/corporate. S mith & Wesson Holding Corp. announced in mid-November that its preliminary sales for its fiscal 2013 second quarter ending Oct. 31, 2012, were approximately $136 million. This is an increase of approximately $44 million, or 48 percent, compared with the same quarter a year ago. This surpasses the company’s previous guidance range of $130 million to $135 million. Company officials report the increase in net sales was driven by continued strength in orders across its product lines. Officials also report that, based on the financial performance and current outlook for the year, the company is reiterating its guidance for sales for full-year fiscal 2013 of between $530 million and $540 million. This represents year-overyear growth of approximately 30 percent. Visit www.smith-wesson.com. S Visit Us At SHOT Show Booth # 16327 10 Subscribe to SI DIGITAL www.shootingindustry.com • NEW BUSINESS YEAR EXTRA 2013

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